there is a difference though.. the ide code was old and crufty and barely alive (although Bart did and the people before him did a good job to keep it breathing).
both i386 and x86_64 are in a relatively good shape, so picking one isn't per se the right move; the proposed method allows for picking the best of either worlds on a per component basis. Sometimes x86_64 is better (for example around change_page_attr() code), sometimes i386 is better (timer/event handling as used by tickless).
For ide/libata-pata it would be an extremely one-sided deal, not worth it. For this one.... it also allows for a much more gradual change, with each step bisectable, testable and debuggable (something the ide->libata move isn't either; for good reason since the starting point would have been nasty).
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